David Attisani, a partner in Choate’s top-ranked Insurance & Reinsurance Group (#1 reinsurance and litigation firm according to Reactions and highly rated by Legal 500), assists insurers and reinsurers in problem-solving, shaping, and winning high profile disputes. Using the thoroughly personal and intense service style his clients value, David also provides evaluations of coverage, wordings advice, and market intelligence.
He has served as lead counsel with respect to the following industry-significant claims: COVID-19 BI and WC; NFL CTE; the California wildfires; 9/11 (WTC); “Obamacare”; life rate increase disputes; spousal continuation problems; Superstorm Sandy; Hurricanes Wilma, Katrina, Harvey; the Puerto Rico Hurricanes (Maria/Irma); the Las Vegas shooting; the “Big Dig” Tunnel Collapse; NY “reviver” molestation claims; Archdiocese of L.A., Society of Jesus, and other clergy abuse claims; Boy Scouts of America and school-related sex abuse problems; J&J talc exposures; the Nikita Levy/ Johns Hopkins “rogue” doctor case; and Sphere Drake.
David’s clients include global insurers and reinsurers Swiss Re, Munich Re, Endurance/Sompo, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, The Hartford, Berkley, Partner Re, The Andover Companies, Aeolus, Symetra, and MIIA.
- One of Law360's “10 Most Admired Insurance Attorneys in America” for 2010 – out of 1,016 nominations from 100 firms
- One of only two U.S. reinsurance lawyers ranked in Band 1 (2021), and first-ever Boston-area lawyer to be recognized in the Chambers USA nationwide rankings for Insurance/Reinsurance (2014-2021, Band 1)
- Recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leader 2021 list as one of the most highly regarded individuals in Insurance and Reinsurance law
- One of only 12 reinsurance lawyers listed in The 2016 and 2017 Legal 500’s elite “Leading Lawyers” category, a designation he also received in 2015, 2012, and 2011
- Named to the inaugural Legal 500 Hall of Fame, which recognizes elite leading lawyers who have consistently been ranked for six consecutive years— one of only 455 partners in the U.S. selected for this honor
- Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, where membership is limited to 1% of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction
- Best of the Best USA (2009-2014) in Insurance & Reinsurance, which recognizes only 30 US industry professionals
- One of only 5 U.S. insurance and reinsurance lawyers to be named a “Global Elite Thought Leader” in Who’s Who Legal 2021 (top 5% of all nominees)
- World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers (2006-2018)
- Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Law (2012-2020)
- “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation (2020-2021)
- Member of the Acritas Stars multinational, peer-recommended lawyers database
- Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, a group of preeminent re/insurance lawyers, where membership is obtained by nomination and is limited to 1,000 lawyers
- Member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and an adjunct member of the International Association of Claims Professionals (fka, “Excess/Surplus Lines Claims Association”)
- Co-chairman of the ABA’s Reinsurance Subcommittee
- Member of the ARIAS-US Education Committee (2013-present)
- Currently represent five global reinsurance players in COVID-19 related BI and WC reinsurance disputes.
- Currently represent two offshore reinsurers in COVID-19 collateral disputes.
- Currently represent global reinsurer in property disputes related to Puerto Rico Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
- Currently represent global reinsurer in disputes emanating from the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires.
- Currently represent domestic reinsurer in life reinsurance dispute.
- Currently represent offshore reinsurer in sex abuse dispute venued in Pacific Northwest.
- Currently represent cedent in school district-wide sex abuse reinsurance dispute.
- Currently represent cedent in West Coast reinsurance dispute concerning payments for medical plan dialysis treatments.
- Currently represent cedent in nationwide clergy and Boy Scouts of America “reviver” molestation claims.
- Currently represent reinsurer in molestation case involving faculty member.
- Currently represent domestic cedents and reinsurers in variable annuity and other life and health disputes.
- Currently represent foreign reinsurer in NFL CTE disputes.
- Currently serve as enterprise counsel to reinsurer with respect to Las Vegas shootings claims.
- Currently serve as enterprise counsel to reinsurer with respect to J&J talc exposures.
- Recently and successfully represented foreign reinsurer in ILW dispute involving Hurricane Harvey losses.
- Recently and successfully represented one cedent and two reinsurers with respect to ice dam claims emanating from the Winter of 2015.
- Successfully represented domestic cedent in court battle that yielded a finding of civil contempt against the adversary.
- Successfully represented reinsurer in dispute over payments related to Obamacare.
- Successfully represented reinsurer in rogue physician case settled for over $180M.
- Successfully represented foreign reinsurer in dispute involving Superstorm Sandy.
- Successfully represented top cedent in connection with clergy abuse claims.
- Successfully represented domestic reinsurer in $100 million property/captive reinsurance dispute.
- Successfully represented top 10 global reinsurer in connection with losses emanating from allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.
- Successfully represented domestic cedent in connection with losses emanating from the financial crisis.
- Successfully represented top reinsurer in $100M dispute involving treaty’s mechanism for “special acceptances.”
- Successfully represented top reinsurers in well-publicized NECC dispute involving fungal meningitis attributed to contaminated pharma products.
- Successfully represented top reinsurer in connection with World Trade Center (9/11) losses.
- Successfully represented major U.S. ceding company in connection with World Trade Center (9/11) losses.
- Successfully served as lead counsel in the “Big Dig”/Central Artery Connector (the largest construction project in Boston’s history) coverage litigation in the Business Litigation section of the MA state trial court.
- Successfully represented Turkish insurer in dispute over 1037 km segment of Crude Oil Pipeline.
- Successfully represented domestic cedent in connection with claims involving the Boy Scouts of America.
- Successfully represented domestic reinsurer in dispute over cover for unallocated expenses.
- Successfully represented domestic cedent in aggregation dispute involving food-related injuries.
- Successfully represented domestic cedent with respect to claims emanating from large asbestos losses.
- Successfully represented London insurer in coverage dispute adverse to California and English policyholders.
- Successfully represented top U.S. cedent in dispute over declaratory judgment expenses.
- Successfully represented MGA in contract wording dispute.
- In 2010-2011, represented 14 different reinsurers located in Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States in domestic litigation involving ECO, XPL, and allocation disputes.
- In June 2010, obtained summary adjudication award for Top 10 reinsurer in net retention dispute.
- Successfully represented major domestic cedent in three arbitration matters and collected more than $60M in principal reimbursements, plus interest, from 2006-2008.
- Argued summary judgment on behalf of Swiss Re in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in 2003 and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 2005.
Commercial Union Ins. Company. v. Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation
- Obtained dismissals for two Bermudan MGA’s in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Second Circuit in 2000-2001.
Odyssey Re (London) Limited v. Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Limited (“Sphere Drake”)
Publications and Presentations
- “COVID-19: The Reinsurance Response,” speaker and organizer, ARIAS Educational Seminar, via Zoom, June 2020.
- “A ‘Box of Chocolates’: Contemporary Risks & The Forrest Gump Paradigm,” speaker, CNA, Chicago, IL, October 2019.
- “A View From the ‘Other Side’: Making The Underwriting Connection,” speaker, Munich Re America, Inc., June 2019.
- “Alternative Capital Mechanisms and Implications for the Insurance/Reinsurance Marketplace and for Dispute Resolution,” speaker, ARIAS 2019 Spring Conference, Palm Beach, Florida, May 2019.
- “A View From the ‘Other Side’: Making the Underwriting Connection,” speaker, ABA ICLC Conference, Tucson, Arizona, March 2019.
- "Claims Defense in a Changing Risk Matrix: The David Bowie Paradigm," speaker, Swiss Re 2018 Claims Conference, Atlanta, GA, June 2018.
- “Responding to Extreme Losses in the New Normal,” speaker, ARIAS Spring Conference, Palm Beach, FL, May 2018.
- “A View From the ‘Other Side’: Making the Underwriting Connection,” speaker, Swiss Re Offsite Underwriting Conference, Armonk, NY, April 2018.
- “Construction Defects and ‘The Space Between,’” co-author, Insurance Law360.
- “Roundtable: Insurance & Reinsurance 2014,” contributor, International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers.
- “Construction Defects and the Space Between: Gap and Overlap in the Combined Coverage of Performance Bonds and CGL Policies for Construction Defects,” co-author, Mealey’s Litigation Report: Construction Defects Insurance.
- “Carving Up the Giving Tree: Allocation of an Underlying Settlement,” oral argument, ARIAS-US Spring Conference, Key Biscayne, FL.
- “Recent Developments in Hydrofracking: All It’s Fracked Up To Be?” speaker, Swiss Re global webinar, Armonk, NY.
- “Recent Developments in the Selection, Conduct, and Disqualification of Reinsurance Arbitrators,” moderator, American Bar Association’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, AZ.
- “Cyber Risk,” speaker, Swiss Re, Overland Park, KS.
- “Emerging Risks: Hydrofracking and Clergy Abuse,” panelist, Swiss Re’s Americas Claims Conference, Chicago, IL.
- “Inside the ‘Secret Garden’: Audit and Access to Records,” speaker, New York, NY.
- “Cyber Risk,” speaker, Gen Re Claims Seminar, Stamford, CT.
- Counsel, mock organizational meeting and “Contrast: Evidence and Trial in Litigation Proceeding,” speaker and conference co-chair, ARIAS-US Spring Conference, Palm Beach, FL.
- “Insurance Cases to Watch in 2012,” quoted, Insurance Law360.
- “Managing Discovery in Arbitration: Bob Dylan & the Asymmetry Principle,” ARIAS Spring Quarterly.
- “Insurers Gained Ground in Key 2010 Rulings,” quoted, Insurance Law360.
- “Inside the Locker Room: Recent Judicial Review of Arbitrator Conduct,” The International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers.
- “An Elephant in the (Arbitration) Room – The Power of Panels and Its Outer Limits,” The ARIAS Quarterly, Vol. 15 and Vol. 16.
- “New Capital Flow Slows,” Best’s Review.
- “Carrying the Weight,” Risk Management Magazine.
- “Reinsurance Security Rules Need Scrutiny,” Business Insurance.
Professional and Community Involvement
- Reinsurance editor of and a contributing author to the Appleman Insurance treatise (2012 to 2014)
- Member of the faculty at ARIAS-US, the Excess & Surplus Lines Claims Association (nka, IACP), Mealey’s Reinsurance, ABIR (Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers), the ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Midyear Meeting, Perrin Conferences (London 2012), the PWC/Hawksmere Reinsurance Congress (Bermuda) and other seminars
- Co-chair of the Spring 2012 ARIAS Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, and the Fall 2006 ARIAS meeting in New York City
- Host of ARIAS Seminar entitled “Reinsurance Beyond APH: A New World Order” in March 2018
- Former special prosecutor in the Suffolk County (City of Boston) District Attorney’s Office, where he tried 19 cases to verdict
- Member of the New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, and American Bar Associations
Education & Credentials
- Harvard Law School
- JD, 1991, cum laude
- Williams College
- BA, 1987, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
The Legal 500 2021 recognized 31 Choate attorneys in their respective fields and 11 practice areas, with education and middle-market M&A receiving Tier 1 rankings.
Four Choate lawyers have been honored in the 2021 edition of Who’s Who Legal, the comprehensive guide to leading practitioners and expert witnesses in the community.
David Attisani has been named as a Global Elite Thought Leader for Insurance & Reinsurance by Who’s Who Legal. David is one of only five USA attorneys ranked within the category, which accounts for the top 2% of all nominees.
Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognized 28 Choate partners as leading counsel in their respective fields, with five receiving Band 1 rankings.
Choate ranked highly in Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 annual survey of the top attorneys and law firms in the United States.